Half of live comedy industry have lost half annual income under Covid, report finds

Many venues have not been able to open at all for a year

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 21 April 2021 12:06
Theatres and venues haven’t been able to open fully for over a year
Theatres and venues haven’t been able to open fully for over a year

Half of all comedy industry workers have lost of their annual income since venues closed, a new study has found.

Live comedy is among the industries worst affected by the pandemic, with venues forced to close last March and many having been unable to open at all in the year since.

While some venues could open with social distancing in place during brief spells last year, these periods did not last long and no indoor shows have taken place at all in Scotland and Wales.

Research by the Save Live Comedy campaign surveyed 2,000 people in the industry and found that as well as causing financial losses for employees of the industry, the last year has had serious emotional and mental impacts too.

Eighty-one per cent of workers, whose roles range from performers and promoters to technicians and tour managers, said that job uncertainty had negatively impacted their mental health.

It has also caused 50 per cent of employees to seriously think about leaving the industry, with this rising to 60 per cent among employees of colour.

The Save Live Comedy campaign has launched a fund to help those workers, with £500 grants being offered to those in most financial need.

Under the government’s current roadmap out of lockdown, comedy venues and theatres will be able to open from 17 May with social distancing measures and yet to be specified capacity limits in place.

You can find The Independent’s rolling list of all the plays, musicals and comedy shows taking place this May and June here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in